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Published: April 17th 2010
Our flight from Vientiene in Laos arrived around 11pm and we were immediately reminded of why we left. The combination of extreme humidity and the strength of the protestors’ annoyingness is too much to handle at the moment. Catching a taxi from the airport the driver did not look pleased that he had to take us to Khao San Road, right next door to the protestors’ camp out. In the weeks since we had left for the north the campaign of the red shirts had grown into the tens of thousands and they had began to block off more and more city streets. Not only that but as the local police apparently couldn’t handle the strength of numbers of the red shirts, the local government had disbanded the military, which are now standing at just about every major street, intersection, random spots on the road, as well as continuous Army tanks driving around watching for ruckus causers. The day before we arrived the government had given the protestors a deadline to leave which they ignored, and it was said that the military was going to start making arrests and putting people in jail. Not the place we wanted to be at
the moment. Driving through the city was interesting as we had to go through some of the main intersections that were being blocked off by the angry mobs (no harm to us though, don’t worry parents!) Arriving on Khao San though it’s hard to remember the protestors except for the vague bits of yelling that manage to filter past the pumping tunes from every stall.
We managed to find a relatively nice guesthouse just off the main drag with clean rooms (Scott has been a superb bed inspector since the bedbug and tick incident in Pak Bang) where we managed to get to sleep despite the pumping loud pub next door. And we woke early again and booked our bus and boat tour south before running errands and willing the time away until 8pm when our bus was scheduled to leave.
The bus ride down south was pleasant enough except they slightly overbooked and we had to share legroom with two Germans. We left at about 9pm and got into the boat dock at about 4:30a in Chumphon, just north of Surat Thani. Nothing interesting here as it was early in the morning, we did manage to
see an average sunrise through some large clouds before we took off which was quite nice.
5 hours later we arrived in Thong Sala on Ko Phangan and caught a taxi to Venus resort. A favourite of mine last time I was here. It’s on the north end of Haad Rin, the main full moon party beach. A bit of a hike up from the beach offers some surprisingly quite bungalows for a fair price with a beautiful view of the beach below, and in the distance Ko Samui. We decided to stay for 10 nights as Thai New Year is on the 12th, and traveling around this time has been ill advised to us by many, and got a good deal, 500 baht a night (about $15 cnd, $156 cnd for 10 days).
The island has changed slightly since last time I was here, some of the cheaper un-kept bungalows have been cleared out for newer fancier resorts as well as some new restaurants and shops. There are also a number of tours available now, fishing and snorkelling being the obvious, but there is now also some jungle treks which take you to the top of
the main peak on the island, elephant rides, zip-lines cooking courses and meditation courses. Plenty of options to keep us busy for the next 10 days of sun and sand (although I think first few days here will be dedicated to relaxing by the water and getting some sun into our skin).
I also have a friend from England, Lynn, who is staying on the island, about 10 minutes up the coast from us. I finally get to do some girly shopping stuff without dragging a bored Scott along behind me, while he can partake in some more... manly activities that I’m not as interested in (fishing and golfing specifically)
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